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Ahead Of Diwali, Delhi Govt To Launch ‘Patakhe Nahi Diya Jalao’ Campaign From October 27

The minister said stubble burning peaks around Diwali and the combination of smoke from farm fires and emissions from firecrackers can prove fatal for senior citizens and children.

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Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday said the city government will launch a 'Patakhe Nahi Diya Jalao' campaign on October 27 to create awareness against firecracker burning.

He said strict action will be taken under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Explosives Act against anyone found burning firecrackers. Eight such cases have already been registered in the city, the minister said.

"No licence for selling firecrackers has been issued this year. Despite the ban, we have been receiving reports about the sale of firecrackers," Rai told a press conference.

The minister said stubble burning peaks around Diwali and the combination of smoke from farm fires and emissions from firecrackers can prove fatal for senior citizens and children.

He held a meeting with officials of the Delhi Police and the environment department on Monday and decided to launch the 'Patkhe Nahi Diya Jalao' campaign to create awareness against the burning of firecrackers.

The minister said 15 teams will be formed at the district level to make people aware of the issue and monitor the sale of firecrackers. Additionally, all the 157 police stations in the national capital will have a two-member team for the purpose, he said.

The Arvind Kejriwal government will encourage people to celebrate Diwali with 'diyas' (lamps), just like the times when crackers did not exist at all, Rai said.

Brands publishing advertisements around Diwali should spread the message of celebrating the festival with 'diyas' and desist from using crackers in their visuals, the minister said.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a ban on firecrackers on September 15, saying it was "essential to save lives".

On September 28, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee ordered a complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital till January 1, 2022.

Rai said, "The situation is extremely critical and we need to take it very seriously. No matter how much the officers enforce the norms, we cannot win this battle unless and until all the people of Delhi actively contribute to the fight."

"I urge each and every person to take this campaign to every nook and corner of Delhi and make sure that no one bursts firecrackers this time," he added.